Maybe connectivity isn’t as important as I thought

So this past week I've been having problems with Verizon DSL, my ISP. I decided to turn lemons into lemonade and have a serious attempt to switch over to Virgin Mobile. They have a pay as you go broadband plan with unlimited internet for $40.

Other than the Kindle, this was my first wireless plan. I liked the price, and I liked that I could take the connection with me. I've been using it since Monday (yes, my Verizon connection has been down for 3 days). BTW, this is the second time I used it. I also used it on my trip to Philadelphia last month, with similar speeds.

Virgin Mobile are using the Sprint network, and supposedly have good data coverage in my area.  Would you be surprised to find out that good coverage means a download speed of 20KBps? I was. Let me give you some details to compare it to. An old dial up modem can download at 56KBps. My Verizon DSL had a download speed of 200KBps (when it worked).

I can't beleive anyone is actually paying for this.  Yes, it's great to get information whenever, but I think of it this way: I'm paying how much for how little?

This is giving me a whole new understanding of 3G data networks. I really don't understand why anyone would get a 3G equipped iPad or tablet. The benefits do not outweigh the cost.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

7 Comments

  1. Baldur Bjarnason15 December, 2010

    When I’m in the UK I use 3G (well, HSDPA) data connections a lot.

    My speeds are usually over 200 KB/sec and peak at around 300 KB/sec.

    Sounds like you’re getting EDGE speeds there, I doubt you’re getting a 3G connection at all.

    Reply
    1. Nate the great15 December, 2010

      I’m just going based on what VG have on their website. They say I have 3G coverage. Obviously it’s not true.

      Reply
      1. Mike Cane15 December, 2010

        See if @svinge on Twitter can help you.

        Reply
  2. Darryl Adams15 December, 2010

    3g is relative. It also depends on reception and line of sight. You may get better speed outside or down the street

    Reply
  3. igorsk15 December, 2010

    Make sure you’re not confusing bits and bytes. The dial-up 56K was 56 kilobits, which resulted in around 5 kilobytes per second of the actual download speed.

    Reply
    1. Nate the great15 December, 2010

      Whoops. I thought it was the other way. (Can you tell it’s been a while since I used dial-up?)

      Thanks.

      Reply
  4. Luqman16 December, 2010

    Virgin Mobile can be very slow depending on where you are at. At my home it was decent (youtube videos downloaded at a respectable rate). At work it was horrendous. T-Mobile was quite good as was Sprint itself. It depends on the carrier.

    Reply

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